Travelers Guide to Genoa, Italy

Genoa is the capital province of the region known as Liguria in northwestern Italy. It is one of the oldest and largest European seaports along the Mediterranean. Today, the stunning Italian Riviera maritime republic has all but shed its industrial past and greets visitors with first class museums, historic landmarks and outstanding restaurants to explore. Genoa’s location and temperate climate make it an easy favorite for shopping and sightseeing. Here are some of Genoa’s most popular attractions, types of lodgings available and tips on getting around in the city.

Popular Attractions And Things To Do In Genoa

Until recently Genoa had earned a reputation for its gritty yet genuine atmosphere, but recent investments to restore the city to its heyday have paid off. Colorful, cosmopolitan Genoa is now best known for its palaces, museums and galleries.

The Great Houses of Genoa

Genoa visitors must tour one of the Palazzi dei Rolli which is a collection of ornate 16th century castles complete with distinctive period architecture, carefully appointed courtyards and gardens. One of the most popular of the 42 UNESCO listed sites is the Palazzo Reale. Its Renaissance art and opulent furnishings transport visitors back in time to a more elegant era. Also, a tour of the Palazzo Doria-Tursi gives visitors a glimpse of a small but valuable collection of violin and personal treasures belonging to legendary violinist Niccolo Paganini.

Historic Landmarks and Museums

Genoa is also known for producing such famous people as the explorer Christopher Columbus. Admission is offered at the Casa della Famiglia Colombo for those who are interested in seeing the childhood home of Christopher Columbus; documents in the home verify the authenticity of the claim. The city’s Maritime Museum is also a great destination as Genoa has plenty to contribute in that genre.

A 24 to 48 hour City Pass allows visitors to gain admission to Genoa attractions at a discounted rate that often includes free public transportation. Also, visitors can take a ride on a small train called a funicular to experience panoramic views of the city.

The Genoa Shopping Scene

Visitors are inevitably drawn to set out on foot to explore the narrow, cobblestone streets that are abundant in the city, and they often encounter a fresh produce stand or two in the outdoor markets. The most popular of these city markets is Mercato Orientale. The fashion forward also check out the boutique shops and outlets that carry well-known designers like Cucinelli, Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabbana. Shops in Genoa normally open from 7am to 8pm, and many are closed for a leisurely lunch period of at least two hours in the afternoon.

Restaurants And Lodging Available In Genoa

There are plenty of gastronomical delights to stimulate one’s palate in Genoa, and these venues serve both traditional and contemporary dishes to their cosmopolitan guests. Most find that the traditional fare is both healthy and delicious because local, fresh ingredients are used to create the Mediterranean style meals. Genoa has also absorbed some of the culinary cultural elements of other ethnic groups largely due to its unique status as an international seaport. A prime example of this is the availability of sweet bakery items like buttery croissants filled with hazelnut cream that are meant to be eaten while sipping an espresso.

Genoa has plenty of lodging options to fit all styles and budgets. There are traditional hotels that range in price from economy to exorbitant. Young people seeking to soak up European culture in Genoa still have the option of staying in youth hostels that offer clean rooms, safe facilities and convenient locations at rates that begin at 23 Euros. Bed and breakfast establishments are also an affordable option for families and couples who want modest accommodations that help them stay on budget while exploring the city.